- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1439824
- First Name Carl
- Last Name Frederickson
- Discipline Other: Multiple
Mark Bland, UCA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith Yarberry, UCA, email@example.com
Jason Martin, UCA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Johnson, UCA, email@example.com
, University of Central Arkansas
This project supports UCA’s efforts to increase the number of highly qualified science and math teachers in Arkansas. It is an enhancement to UCA STEMteach (a UTeach replication). Many of the students in the program had not considered a career in secondary education prior to completing this program.
The goal of the project is to increase the number of secondary science and math teachers graduating from UCA. Key activities are the introduction of students who have performed well in their freshman courses (summer interns are recommended by faculty) to the opportunities that a career in secondary education provides. This is accomplished through a summer internship on campus where students have the opportunity to deliver science and math lessons to students in the UCA Challenge program.
UCA is using a summer internship to recruit students into its Noyce Scholarship program. Rising sophomores and juniors are recommended by faculty for a 10-week summer internship that includes a 1-hour course modeled after the Learning Assistant course at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The summer course is co-taught by the PI and one of the Master Teachers in the UCA STEMteach program. As part of this class, students prepare and present math and science lessons for young people in the UCA Challenge program. Following the summer internship, students are supported for two semesters to work as Learning Assistants in their home department. The first two years of full implementation will be presented.
In the first four years 23 students participated in the summer internship opportunity. Of those summer interns three have received Noyce Scholarships with all three graduating this past spring semester. Six of the summer interns were from the UCA Honors College. Of these, one is now in the STEMteach program and a second is now working toward a career in higher education. Not all of the 23 summer interns have chosen to continue to explore a career in secondary education. All of them do know that it is an option going forward and have experience with presenting lessons to students.
This project not only impacts the summer interns but the students they interact with during the 1-hour summer course and in their home departments during the two semesters following their summer internship. These students have been able to provide supplemental instruction in courses in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology for many students on campus. They were able to provide age appropriate science lessons for the UCA Challenge program. These lessons introduced young people to role models (both male and female) that can help to spark an interest in studying science and math as they grow.